Fitness Fridays: Kettlebells

by lydia on October 8, 2010

This past spring I picked up an 10 pound kettle bell and started to incorporate it into my exercise regime. I instantly fell in love with this fabulous piece of equipment. I am by no means a kettle bell expert, but have seen some great results already with their use, and want to share my enthusiasm for this particular workout method. (*Note – start with more weight than I did, you will quickly outgrow 10 pounds, I recommend starting with 20 lbs)

Kettlebells

So, what on earth is a kettlebell? The kettlebell is a cast iron weight looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle, used to perform ballistic exercises which combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Unlike traditional dumbbells, the kettlebell’s center of mass is extended beyond the hand, similar to a Clubbell. This allows for a wide variety of ballistic and swinging movements.By their nature, kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength. The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. (source)

I love using kettle bells because they are fun and really work your whole core. I find that when I am doing kettle bell exercises I can really focus on the movements and enjoy doing dreadful exercises such as squats this way.  I really like that I can do squats with some added weight and be working my core and arm strength at the same time. Here’s a few awesome videos from some experts on how to use kettle bells.


What kettlebell exercises do you enjoy doing? And what results have you experienced from using kettlebells?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rose October 11, 2010 at 9:11 am

You are so right about kettlebells! I’ve done Kettleworx videos for one week and I’ve never had such a tighter core and it doesn’t take long. Thanks for your great website!!

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Jenny March 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Lydia – do you follow any particular fitness-focused blogs you’d recommend? I’m really interested in kettlebells, and this is an awesome start – but am otherwise totally clueless.

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lydia April 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hey Jenny!! I’ve learned a lot from Mark Sisson’s site ( I like his exercise theories) and from watching videos on Underground Wellness! Kettlebells are great place to start, it’s a whole body workout, burns fat and builds muscle and they are fun – you may find yourself getting addicted to them. I think Sarah at The Healthy Home Economist has a bunch of posts from her fitness friend and even some good videos. I don’t do a whole lot of cardio, more strength training, sprints, some dance and just keeping active! I do like to throw in some pilates here and there too! Find what you like and what motivates you and start there!!!

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Kathryn Arnold February 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Yoo-hoo… Your second video no longer downloads. :)

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lydia February 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Kathryn! Looks like the embedding of this video was disenabled since I posted this, here is the link to find the video on YouTube –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAYZ9gKZaI0

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Laura Black February 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Okay, this was a new one for me. But what a fantastic idea. I do yoga and swim, but no real strength training. This looks like the perfect choice. Good article.

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